Last nights by-election was overall relatively uneventful. As expected the Liberals won three of the four seats that were up for grabs.
The Greens continued to surge up in the polls finishing neck and neck with the NDP in most ridings (see my blog below that was originally published in the Brandon Sun, on October 13th, 2007).
However what stands out the most from last night by-election, is not what these results mean for any pending election, rather it is apathetic nature of the electorate.
By-elections typically have low-voter turn-outs, but last nights overall turn-out rate was 27.7% of registered voters. This does not bode well for our democratic system. At the end of the day it was the ballots of 14.1% of the registered voters that elected the four new MPs. Including the Greens, there are four parties accross Canada (and five in Quebec) that have a chance elect Members to Parliament. Clearly an electoral system that is designed for a two-party sytem is out of touch with the current political realities. Perhaps if we instituted some form of Proportional Representation we could finally convince people that it was worthwhile to go out an vote.